Phone (513) 251-5500
March 19th, 2012

What You Need to Know About Oral Cancer and VELscope®

Category: Uncategorized

Each year, about 30,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer. The cancer is much more prominent in males and is generally diagnosed in patients 60 years and older. It is historically discovered late in its development, which means that it is likely to be at a high risk cancer stage. Early stages of oral cancer do not always cause painful symptoms, so the disease often goes unnoticed. These are reasons why Hagen tests all our adult patients yearly for oral cancer with VELscope®, regardless of any risk factors. (We also always recommend a VELscope® screening to anyone who feels they may be at risk.)

Below are some risk factors taken from the National Cancer Institute:

  • Tobacco use
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • HPV
  • Personal history of oral cancer
  • An unhealthy diet
  • Betel nut use

Here are some noticeable symptoms we have taken from the Oral Cancer Foundation:

  • A mouth sore that does not heal within two week
  • Thickening of the cheek tissue
  • Patches of white or red discoloring on the gums, tongue, tonsil or mouth lining
  • Sore throat
  • Jaw and tongue tenseness
  • Tongue and mouth numbing
  • Swelling of the jaw
  • Chronic hoarseness

VELscope® is non-invasive and has a fluorescence technology that facilitates earlier detection of abnormal tissue. During the procedure, VELscope® shines a safe blue light into your oral cavity. While  healthy tissue glows, abnormal or suspicious tissue remains dark.

VELscope® will detect, but not confirm that a patient has oral cancer. If detected, Hagen will recommend you to a specialist for a biopsy. VELscope® will detect any abnormality before it is visible to the human eye. It is a short exam and is recognized by the World Health Organization.

Do you think you may be at risk? To learn more about VELscope® call Hagen Dental at 513-251-5500 and schedule an appointment.

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